Her Interactive Donates Historic Video Game Archives to ICHEG

International Center for the History of Electronic Games News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700 museumofplay.org

January 7, 2013

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359, strien@thestrong.org
Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@thestrong.org

Her Interactive, Pioneering Female Video Game Company,
Donates Historic Archives to the
International Center for the History of Electronic Games®


ROCHESTER, New York—What do female teenage gamers want? Her Interactive has donated to the International Center of the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) at The Strong® a collection of archival materials that sheds light on the video game company’s pioneering efforts to understand and appeal to female gamers, a frequently overlooked audience in the male-dominated world of video games.

Since it began in 1995, Her Interactive has sold more than nine million units and garnered 26 Parent’s Choice awards for its Nancy Drew adventure-mystery role-playing game series featuring the smart, independent, gutsy, and resourceful teen detective. Included in the  Her Interactive Collection are more than 30 games (including Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill and Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen) and archival materials such as design drafts, memoranda, press materials, focus group studies, player correspondence, and other items from the 1990s through the present, that document the company’s work. 

“Her Interactive’s singular focus on games for girls separates it from almost every other game company over the last two decades,” says ICHEG Director Jon-Paul Dyson. For example, the company frequently convened small focus groups of pre-teen and teenage girls to evaluate games under development, seeking to learn what girls like about video games, and how they use computers in general. They discovered that girls crave strong story lines with characters that collaborate with one another; want a second chance when making a game-ending mistake; love details (i.e., examining drawers filled with clues like photos, letters, and other items that can be closely studied); and are bored and repelled by repetitive violence.

Says Dyson, “This collection gives us tremendous insights into what female players—a segment that has often been overlooked but has grown dramatically in importance over the years—have looked for in games. It will prove a gold mine for researchers in better understanding the experiences of female gamers.”                                            

Guided for many years by Megan Gaiser, currently the company’s chief creative strategy officer, Her Interactive persevered in the face of conventional wisdom that gaming was for boys—an early company slogan proclaimed that Her Interactive made “games for girls who aren’t afraid of a mouse.”  Says Gaiser, “On behalf of Her Interactive employees, both past and present, we are all deeply honored to have these materials preserved at the International Center for the History of Electronic Games.” 

The Her Interactive Collection complements ICHEG’ s world-class collections of artifacts and library and archival items that illuminate, among other things, the impact of manufacturers on the evolution of video games and society. It joins such collections as those donated by Microsoft and Westwood Studios. ICHEG works with historically influential companies in the video game industry to help preserve their contributions. For more information about ICHEG and its collections, visit www.museumofplay.org/about/icheg.

About Her Interactive: Her Interactive is the leading mystery-maker and pioneer of fun and inspiring interactive entertainment. The company, with 26 awards to its name, designs, develops, and publishes high-quality mystery-adventure games and apps, and is the world leader in the mystery games category. Her Interactive’s Nancy Drew games have sold more than nine million copies. This success, in part, is buoyed by the ever-increasing numbers of girls and women becoming avid game players. Nancy Drew players now include moms who have introduced their daughters to the girl detective, making her one of history’s longest-running iconic figures spanning generations. As the number-one PC mystery franchise since 2004, unit sales of the Nancy Drew series have exceeded those of Harry Potter, Myst, and Tomb Raider. More information about the company and the Nancy Drew games can be found at www.herinteractive.com. Find Her Interactive on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NancyDrewPCGames or follow Her Interactive on Twitter: @HerInteractive.

 About the International Center for the History of Electronic Games: Situated at The Strong, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) collects, studies, and interprets video games and other electronic games and related materials and the ways in which electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other. At 40,000 items and growing, ICHEG holds the largest and most comprehensive public collection of its kind in the United States and one of the largest in the world. ICHEG’s collection includes video games, systems, and related materials that illustrate how the games have been conceived, developed, sold, and used. These materials include packaging, advertising, publications, electronic game inspired consumer products, literary and popular inspirations of electronic game imagery, personal and business papers, and other associated artifacts and documents that represent or illustrate the impact of electronic games on people’s lives. Learn more about ICHEG at www.icheg.org.